5 Things You Should Know About Twitter Advertising

by Andrew Krebs-Smith | November 13

twitter ads

Twitter’s self-serve ad platform has been open to all since April of this year. With an estimated 500 million users and ever-evolving features that are making it easier for brands to market on Twitter, here are 5 things you should know about advertising on the platform.

1. There are 2 main types of ads currently available – Promoted Accounts and Promoted Tweets
With Promoted Accounts, marketers can pay to have their Twitter handle appear in the ‘Who to Follow’ box that’s located on the top lefthand side of most pages on Twitter.com in order to get more followers. Promoted Tweets are actual tweets from your account (unless you use Limited Delivery – more on that below), with an extra boost to increase impressions. This solution can be useful for distributing content, promoting an announcement, or advertising a special deal or discount.

promoted tweets

2. Promoted Lead Generation cards are another option
Lead Generation cards let users opt-in to your offer/newsletter/download directly from Twitter.com. Though they look like a regular tweet with an image, Lead Gen cards also include a call-to-action button that, when clicked, will automatically capture the user’s name, username, and email address. Without the need to leave Twitter in order to capture a lead, these cards easily generate inbound interest with the click of a button.

twitter lead gen cards

3. Twitter ads can be targeted by user, interest category, or keyword
To make sure you’re only paying to reach the right people, Twitter provides several parameters for targeting your promoted tweets. Follower targeting allows you to add the usernames of the accounts who are likely to have followers in your target audience so that Twitter can show your tweets to people who are similar to those users’ followers. With interest targeting, you can reach those who are likely to have certain interests or fit into a certain demographic, like users who like luxury cars or women who are pregnant. Lastly, keyword targeting let’s you show ads to users who are actively tweeting about certain topics in real-time.

twitter ads

4. To test the most effective messaging, try the Limited Delivery option
Just as you would on any other self-serve ad platform, testing several variations of your promoted tweets can help you learn which messaging and calls-to-action are most effective. However, you may not want to send out all of these different variations to your followers, bombarding them with different tweets about the same topic/blog post/promotion. Fortunately with Limited Delivery, you can craft different variations of your promoted tweets that are only shown as ads, and won’t appear on your Twitter page. You can even schedule a set of Limited Delivery tweets from directly within Twitter (a feature previously only available through third-party software, like Hootsuite).

twitter limited delivery

5. Avoid promoting tweets with hashtags or @mentions
When advertising on Twitter, you’re paying for engagements, i.e., you only pay when someone interacts with your promoted tweet by retweeting it, clicking on it, following you after seeing it, etc. Because both hashtags and @mentions in tweets are clickable, users who see your tweet and click on one of these instead of your link will still count as an engagement. Avoid paying for engagements that aren’t necessarily of value to your brand by only providing users one clickable option (the link you want to drive traffic to) in the tweets you pay to promote.

twitter ad engagement

Andrew Krebs-Smith
About the author

Andrew Krebs-Smith

Helping B2C Retail/Ecomm companies test, measure, and scale digital marketing. Trying to fix the agency model so that agencies are accountable to every client media dollar they spend.